Over the past few years I’ve had my ear attuned to the word Wilderness. It’s been an interesting journey I continue to process and promise to share more about. One of the things that has kept me moving in my hardest days has been the words of others. Reading how God has taught others to push through their own desert times has given me the strength to continue to but one foot in front of the other when it seemed doing so would do nothing but cause pain.
In The Road to Becoming Jenny Simmons shares her life story surrounding the band Addison Road, her marriage and first year of her daughter Annie’s life. I’ve taken a picture of a page in this book to show you how drawn in by Jenny’s words I was. I started reading at 2:30pm on Sunday and finished at 10:15 that night. I COULD.NOT.STOP reading the honest and hilarious words of this woman. I found that as Jenny shared her emotions, frustrations, inner thoughts and fears I not only related but had said similar things in my own darkest days.
I had purposely not read much about Jenny’s story prior to reading this book and I’m glad I didn’t. As the story of a year of tragedy unfolded I was hanging on each word. As the group Addison Road had to choose to disband I understood why and ached right along with Jenny as she watched everyone else move on while she sat devastated as her dream slipped away.
For Jenny she has been able to break up her journey into categories. The Dreaming and Destruction, The Burying, The Lostness, The Waiting and The Becoming. As she writes of her journey, beautifully tying together her past and present I couldn’t help but smile and nod along. Although our stories are very different, I could relate to Jenny’s heart ache and desire to do life well while at the same time feeling lost as to what was next.
Jenny is so clear to show how others in her life carried her along in her journey, and she is also so honest in saying that things aren’t perfect just because she has a deeper understanding of God. This raw honesty is what kept me engaged and wanting more.
I cannot tell you how comforting this book was for me. Not because there is a 10 steps to freedom plan (there isn’t) but because Jenny does an amazing job showing how God carries us in our wilderness times and how our responses can look.